ARTIST’S BIO

At the heart of Nicole Beck’s artwork beats the rhythm and beauty of the dynamic systems found in nature and the sciences. Wholly unique forms are balanced with concept to create iconic visual poems both quirky and lyrical. Large scale works are Beck’s forte with a particular ability to collaborate with all stakeholders, fabricate and budget. Works incorporate various materials: steel, LEDs, glass, granite, fiberglass and mosaic, often vibrant with color & light. Commissions arise from highly collaborative input and exhaustive research, featuring inventive materials like dichroic glass and programmable RGB LEDs. Installations are responsive to site and community, they are always unique and surprising.

Beck has just installed a $250,000 site­-specific commission for the University of Illinois Urbana College of Electrical & Computer Engineering where she created an outdoor installation that chronicles the ECE’s exemplary history as the founder of both the transistor and the LED, and therefore incorporating an abstraction of the light emission pulse that emanates from an LED.

Video documenting this project can be accessed:
CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE

Beck is included in the public art collections of the Elgin, Illinois Police Station; Village of Orland Park Civic Center, IL; the Lakeview, West Town and Lincoln Park Chambers of Commerce in Chicago; City of Blue Springs, MO; DeVry University, Chicago campus; Healthcare Alternative Systems, Chicago; and in many, many locations throughout Chicago’s Public. Private and Charter Schools where she has collaborated with youth in creating numerous permanent public art projects.

Unique public art projects include a spectacular artist’s garden in Chicagoʼs Grant Park, The Artist Project, Art Chicago, PierWalk, Krasl Art Museum, Rockford Art Museum, Koehnline Art Museum, Chicago Botanic Gardens, and the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

Nicole has attended artists residencies at the Ragdale Foundation and received a 10­wk fellowship at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

PUBLIC ART COLLECTIONS

2015
Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Chicago, “Astroterra”
South Shore Fine Arts Academy, “Art Roars”
2014
University of Illinois Urbana, College of Computer & Electrical Engineering “Amplifiers” Fall 2014 Installation
Alexander Fleming School, Chicago, “Peace Poem Project” Mural
2013
Burke Elementary School, Chicago, “G’s Bend Mural”
Alexander Fleming School, Chicago, “Peace Poem Project” Mosaics
2012
Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, Chicago, “Prairie Town Dweller”
Village of Orland Park, IL, “Chicago WhatKnot”
Gwen Frostic School of Art, WMU, Kalamazoo, MI, “reCycle, reUse, reVive”
City of Blue Springs, Missouri, “Jet Stream”
2011
Healthcare Alternative Systems, Chicago, “Fiesta de la Communidad” Mosaic
2010 Blue Springs, MO, “Quasarc”
2008
Chicago Public Schools, Department of Arts Ed, “A Place To Create” Mural
Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation, Chicago, “Morganway Mural”
2007
Bloomingdale Mural Project, Chicago, “Snake Gourd Chamber Maze”
2006
Elgin Police Station, Elgin, IL, “Perspective” Mosaic
WestTown Chamber of Commerce, Chicago, Steetscape Enhancement
2000
DeVry University, Chicago, “DeVry Binary Project”
1999
Disney Regional Entertainment, Chicago, “Mascots”
1996
Sarasota County, Sarasota Community Garden, FL, “Mother Nature Mural”

SOLO SHOWS & INSTALLATIONS
2012
Chicago Artist’s Coalition Gallery, “Redshifted: In an Observable Universe”
2008
Harold Washington Library, Chicago
Prudential Plaza Lobby, Chicago
2004
Art In The Gardens, Grant Park, Chicago, “Snake Gourd Chamber Maze”
2000
Idao Gallery, Chicago
1998
Idao Gallery, Chicago
1995
NationsBank Plaza, Tampa, FL, “Nicole Beck: New Sculpture”
1993
MWMWM Gallery, Chicago, “Uprooted”
1992
Chicago Botanic Gardens, Northbrook, IL, “Experiment: Wetlands”
1991
Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL, “Experiment/By-Product”
1990
ARC Gallery RawSpace, Chicago, “Experiment/Product”

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS & INSTALLATIONS

2015
“Clark St. Sculpture Exhibition,” Chicago, also in 2014, ‘13
“Chicago Sculpture Exhibition,” also 2013, ’12, ‘11,’10,’ 09, ‘08, ‘07, ‘06, ‘05 & ‘02
“Sculpture Walk­ HarborPark,” Kenosha, WI
Koehnline Art Museum, “Sculpture Invasion II.” IL also in 2010 & 2007
2014
“Clark Street Sculpture Exhibition,” Chicago also in 2013
Columbus, Indiana
Krasl Art Museum, St. Joseph, MI
Cliffdweller’s Club, Chicago
2013
“12th Chicago Sculpture Exhibition,” also in 2012, ‘11,’10,’ 09, ‘08, ‘07, ‘06, ‘05 & ‘02
Oak Park, IL
Michigan City, IN
2012
“12 for ’12” Miller Electric Corporation, Appleton, WI
Art Expo Chicago, Navy Pier, “6x6x6”
2011
Art Chicago, Merchandise Mart, “Avenue of Sculpture,” also in 2010
Champaign-Urbana, IL Public Art League
Dubuque, IA, “Art on the River”
Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago, “Form in Flora”
2010
Koehnline Art Museum, “Sculpture Invasion II.” IL Juried, Lela Hersh
Clearwater, Florida, “Sculpture 360”
University of Indianapolis, “2010-2012 Fifth Third Sculpture Exhibition”
Bettendorf Convention Center, Bettendorf, IA
Meadowbrook Sculpture Park, Urbana, IL
2009
White River State Park, Indianapolis, IN
Luther College, Sampson-Hoffland Laboratories, Decorah, IA
“Artrpize,” Huntington Bank, Grand Rapids, MI, Public Sculpture Installation
2008
Artropolis, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, “The Artist Project”
Cedar Rapids, IA, “Grounds for Art”
City Municipal Center, Orland Park, IL
Roanoke, VA, “AIR Sculpture Exhibition”
University of Indianapolis, IN, “2008-10 Fifth Third Sculpture Walk”
2007
Artropolis, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, “The Artist Project”
Koehnline Art Museum, “Sculpture Invasion,” Juried, Victor Cassidy
2006
FLATFILE Galleries, Chicago, “Chicago Sculpture International Biennale”
Chattanooga, TN, “Chattanooga Bi-Annual Sculpture Exhibition”
2005
Cliffdweller’s Club, Chicago, “Maquettes/Large Scale Sculptures”
2004
Chicago Dept. of Public Art Project, “Art in the Gardens,” Grant Park
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
“Art Connects: Sculpture on the Chicago River”
Suburban Fine Arts Center, Highland Park, IL
“Sculpture on the Lawn,” Charlottesville, VA
“Art in Place” South Bend Airport, IN
“Sculpture at the Airport” Jackson, TN
“Jackson University Sculpture Tour”
“For the Birds,” Clarke House Museum, Chicago, IL Chicago Public Art Project
2003
“Chicago Sculpture 2003,” Featured Artist & Venue for Chicago Artist’s Month
Greensboro, NC, “North Carolina Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition”
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, “Sculpture Tour”
2002
Krasl Art Museum, St. Joseph, MI
Peoria, IL, “Peoria Riverwalk”
“Tinsley, Beck & Lindsey in Wicker Park,” Chicago, Curator
2001
“PierWalk 2001,” Navy Pier & “PierWalk Maquettes,” Daley Plaza, Chicago
“Around the Coyote,” Wicker Park, Chicago (also 2000, ‘99, ’97, ’94)
2000
“PierWalk 2000,” Navy Pier, Chicago & “PierWalk Maquettes,” State of Illinois Building
1999
“PierWalk 1999,” Navy Pier, Chicago & “PierWalk Maquettes,” Vedanta Gallery
1996
BopShop, Chicago, “Beck at the Bop”
1993
Art Chicago, Outdoor Plaza Public Sculpture Installation
MWMWM Gallery, Chicago, “Group Show”

EDUCATION
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, MFA 1991 graduate fellowship
Loyola University of Chicago, AB., Communications 1984 magna cum laude
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2003-14
Lead Teaching Artist, Urban Gateways Center for Arts Education, Chicago
2004-10
Founding Board of Directors, Chicago Sculpture International
1997-03
Lead Artist, Gallery 37 (now Afterschoolmatters.org) Chicago
1993-96
Faculty Adjunct, Ringling School of Art & Design, Sarasota, FL Full-time

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION
2014
Commissioned Artist, “Amplifiers,” University of Illinois Urbana,
Capital Development Board Art-In-Architecture Public Art Project
Finalist, Kaskaskia College, Centralia, IL Illinois Capital Development Board
2013
Illinois Arts Council Project Grant
Finalist, Illinois Valley Community College, Illinois Capital Development Board,
2012
Artist’s Residencies, Ragdale Foundation 12/2012 & 10/2010
Finalist, Chicago Percent for Art 12th District Police Station (still pending)
Visiting Artist, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
“100 Midwest Artists,” Ashley Rooney, Schiffer Publishing
2011
Artist’s Residency Fellowship, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, January-April
CAAP GRANT Funded by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & The Illinois Arts
Council, CAAP Grants also in 2008, 04, 02, 01, 00
2008
“Ironwork Today: Inside & Out,” Jeffrey B. Snyder, Schiffer Books, 2008, p.66-67.
2007
Sculpture Magazine, December 2007, Vol. 26, No. 10, p. 11.
2006
Artist Story, www.chicagoartistsresource.org
Sculpture Magazine, October 2006, Vol. 25, No. 8, p. 7,8
2005
Public Art Advisory Panel, Avalon Library Project, Chicago Dept. of Public Art
2003
Finalist, North Park Sculpture, Chicago Percent for Arts, Department of Public Art
Featured Artist, Chicago Artist’s Month, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
2001
Sculpture Magazine “PierWalk 2001,” (Vol. 20, No. 9) & Chicago Sun-Times (7/6/01,p12)
1996
“Mother Nature Mural,” Sarasota Network TV Newsreel (Feb), Sarasota Herald Tribune
2/2/96, 2/7/96, 2/23/96, Project Grant Funded by Sarasota County
1995
Fellowship Finalist, Southern Arts Federation Funded by the NEA
Artist Grant, NationsBank Solo Sculpture Exhibition
1994
Faculty Development Grant, Ringling School of Art & Design, Sarasota, FL
1993
“Nicole Beck,” West Coast Woman, Sarasota, FL (January)
1992
Artist Grant for Installation, A.R.C. Gallery, Chicago (Review, Chicago Reader, 9/18/92)
1991
Artist Grant for Installation, “Experiment/By-Product,” Rockford Art Museum, IL
1990
Artist Grant, RawSpace Installation, “Experiment/Product,” A.R.C. Gallery, Chicago, Funded by the Illinois Arts Council
1990
Graduate School Fellowship & Grant, Northern Illinois University